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Thousands of immigrants and supporters join the Defend DACA March to oppose the President Trump order to end DACA on September 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
Thousands of immigrants and supporters join the Defend DACA March to oppose the President Trump order to end DACA on September 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Report says 'DREAMERS’ in Pennsylvania pay millions of dollars in taxes

New research from an immigration advocacy group details the amount of income taxes paid by DACA recipients and TPS holders. An economic sum that could be lost…

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According to a study released by The New America Economy, a bi-partisan immigration and advocacy organization, the deportation of both TPS and DACA holders would represent a blow not only to the immigrants themselves but also to the U.S. economy.

Since its implementation in 2012, roughly 700,000 individuals have been protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program – allowing them to work legally in the country and be protected from deportation.

Because this number only represents a fraction of the individuals who benefit from DACA, the NAE study looked at all of the 1.3 million DACA-eligible individuals who qualify to be recipients but did not apply within the deadline.

DACA-eligible immigrants and TPS holders pay billions in taxes

According to the NAE study, DACA-eligible migrants and the roughly 318,000 immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) — the temporary immigration status given to nationals of certain countries experiencing crisis that make it difficult or unsafe to be deported there — contributed a total of $5.5 billion in federal taxes, including almost $2.5 billion to state and local governments in 2017.

In Pennsylvania, the more than 13,000 DACA-eligible immigrants living in the state earned $247.6 million in pre-tax income, generating $20.7 million in state and local income taxes and $22.4 million in federal income taxes.

Pennsylvania ranks as the 19th state with the most DACA-eligible immigrants, California coming in the first place.

With the majority of TPS holders living in states like Florida and Texas, Pennsylvania was not evaluated in that portion of the study.

Small victory

While the status of Dreamers and TPS holders remains in limbo, the recent victory of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 in the House of Representative brings hope, although it has yet to make it past the Republic-led Senate.  

“This victory is an important first step towards ending the uncertainty that has plagued Dreamers, TPS holders, and the communities they call home,” said John Feinblatt, President of New American Economy in a press release. “We applaud the House for taking action, and urge the Senate to stand with the American people and give Dreamers and TPS holders the solution they have earned many times over.”

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